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Film Information

Plot: It's been ten years since the Black Plague ravaged the lands. A poor family sets out on a journey to find a better place to live. On a desolate mountain pass, the family is attacked by a pack of merciless killers. The only one to be spared is 19 year old Signe, who is taken hostage and brought back to camp. There she learns she is to face a fate far worse than death, and she realizes the only thing to do is to run away. But her escape does not go unnoticed, and now the chase is on.
Release Date: 29th July 2013
Format: DVD
Director(s): Roar Uthaug
Cast: Isabel Christine Andreasen, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Kristian Espedal, Hallvard Holmen, Eirik Holden Rotheim
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 78 mins
Country Of Origin: Norway
Language: Norwegian with English Subtitles
Genre: , ,
Film Rating


Bottom Line

Escape does not match the success of Troll Hunter or Headhunters but it is certainly another strong and brave attempt at a very different genre. It does makes you wonder just what Norwegian cinema will pull out of the bag next.

Posted July 28, 2013 by

Film Review

Norwegian cinema has been consistent over the last few years with generous, genre-abundant offerings to the silver screen.  We have had a taste of Norwegian horror with Rare Exports, fantasy with Troll Hunter and Thale, the crime thriller with Headhunters and now we have a another genre shift, this time to the historical thriller with Roar Uthaug’s Escape – a post-apocalyptic, fast-action tale of hunter and prey set in the year 1363.

In Norway in the years following the Black Plague, after much of the population has died a gruesome death, society has been reduced to poverty and is forced to find the will to survive.  Signe (Isabel Christine Andreasen) and her family, homeless and impoverished by hard times, travel along the open road in search of a new home.  As they decide to settle for the night, a gang of vicious outlaws led by the merciless Dagmar (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) slaughter Signe’s parents and brother and drag her off to their camp in the mountains.  Signe soon learns that Dagmar has some sinister plans for her and with the help of Dagmar’s little protégé Frigg (Milla Olin) she strives to escape, with the barbarians in hot pursuit.

Escape is reminiscent of many films and is certainly not short of some fierce action:  think The Hunger Games and The Road with a peppering of Mad Max and it certainly has strong links with 1987’s Oscar-nominated Pathfinder (Veiviseren).  The film works as a bleak and uncertain glimpse into a troubled time but its main weakness is a lack of historical explanation.  Instead it chooses to focus on how its female protagonists are caught up in the uncompromising after-effects of the plague, allowing a powerful feminist thread to run through the film.   However whilst this is engaging to watch, the plot still remains a simple ‘hunter seeks prey’ story.  Escape has a solid cast and their chemistry shows in the flawless performances.   Isabel Christine Andreasen is wonderful in her acting debut as the innocent girl forced to toughen up to fight her way out of a desperate situation and her performance is complimented by the sweetness of Mila Olin as little Frigg.  Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, also seen in this year’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is quite unrecognisable as the hard and troubled Dagmar, giving an incredibly believable and somewhat frightening performance alongside her band of macho savages and Tobias Santelmann as Arvid, her love interest and better side of her conscience.  Escape’s greatest strength however is the changing Norwegian backdrop, flitting between unwelcoming, desolate plains and enchanting landscapes of waterfalls and mountains.  This is an ever changing land, beautiful but dangerous as the arrows fly and you never know what is around the next corner.

Escape does not match the success of Troll Hunter or Headhunters but it is certainly another strong and brave attempt at a very different genre.  It does makes you wonder just what Norwegian cinema will pull out of the bag next.

Misha Wallace - Social Media Editor

From the age of 4, Misha Wallace became transfixed by movies like Halloween and The Birds from behind the couch, unbeknownst to her family. This has developed in to an obsession with fantasy and horror films (and a considerable number of cheesy 80s and 90s flicks – but she will not be judged). If she was a character in a film she'd be the girl at the end of a horror movie, doused in blood but grinning victorious. Email: or find her any time of the day or night on FilmJuice social media.


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